A four-year-old California girl was reunited with her grandparents, thanks to the help of a British man who used social media to pinpoint her location through the ruse of a free pizza.
The Daily Mail reports that missing girl Yvette Henley’s grandfather, Gary Forester, contacted Harry Brown of Surrey, England, in early July, in a bid to help find his granddaughter, who was last known to be with her father. The grandfather noticed that Brown was a Facebook friend of the child’s father, Virgil Lamar Henley, 28, who used the name Mark Johnson on the social media platform.
The distraught grandparents asked Brown, an online gaming enthusiast who works as a shelf stocker at the British supermarket Sainsbury’s, to help them locate Yvette. Brown agreed and reached out via Facebook to Henley, whom he had met online.
Surrey man helps trace missing four-year-old girl in US with free pizza https://t.co/A2mYIMi46G
— The Guardian (@guardian) August 14, 2017
Forester, 46, and his wife, Kim Pastore-Forester, 47, were granted legal custody of their granddaughter on June 20 after a San Bernardino, California, court found that the child was suffering “emotional damage” while living with her father. But by that time, the father had already fled with Yvette.
Two days after Forester contacted Brown, the British man learned that Henley and his girlfriend Alyssa Forester were with their Yvette in Arizona. Brown was able to get the exact address and room number of the motel where they were staying in Kingman, Arizona, by offering Henley a pizza delivery.
Henley reportedly told Brown he “couldn’t eat” due to kidney pain, but that his wife wanted a pizza. When Brown offered to send one, he shared his location.
Brown immediately contacted Gary Forester, who in turn contacted authorities. Brown told the Daily Mail, “instead of pizza he got the police.”
Brown gave a statement to the Daily Mail about the extraordinary rescue.
“’I spend my life on the internet but little did I know that talking to random people would lead to me finding this little girl. She is loving where she is now. I cried so much when I saw the photos of her with her grandparents…It’s a really weird set of circumstances that fell into place.
Before, Yvette was probably living a nightmare. Now she is in the best place possible for her. She is having the most happy days of her life. I can’t wrap my head around it. It’s life-changing for me. I had all these worries but now they all seem meaningless. I have saved a girl’s life. I have so much more to be happy about now.”
Little Yvette was driven back to her grandparents’ home in Hesperia, California. Gary Forester said that Brown was the “key to everything” in finding his missing granddaughter.
“In my heart, Harry saved her life,” Forester said. “I will be forever in gratitude to him for that.”
According to a post on Gary Forester’s Facebook page, Yvette’s grandparents will be able to thank Brown in person when they host him for a planned visit to California in September.
Feature photo: Facebook